August 2012 Newsletter

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Wilmington College Grow Food Grow Hope Newsletter



Grow Food, Grow Hope
In This Issue:
Quakers and Sustainability

GFGH Kids’ Programs Make an Impact

GFGH Says, “Thanks You” Summer Associates

Recipe: Salsa Pico de Gallo

August Newsletter 2012

In this Issue…
2 Contributors Grow Food, Grow Hope Krisher Endowment 4 3rd Annual Tomadah Paradah Tomato Preservation Workshop Thank You Friends and Donors Feature: S-P-I-C-E-S For Your Shelf Feature: Planting Seeds: Youth Programs Grow Healthy Families 10 Feature: A Summer Associate Looks Back

Grow Food, Grow Hope is competing against 65 AmeriCorps projects from across the Country for a $4,000 grant. To vote for GFGH and see our promotional video, “AmeriCorps Works in Our Community,” by Wilmington College student and GFGH Summer Associate Ray Trais, visit:

13 Recipe: Pico de Gallo
Contributors Editor Max Webster

Writers Trenton Hython Dominique Parks Melissa Sarafin Mariana Vazquez-Crede

Interested in contributing to Grow Food, Grow Hope Publications? Contact Max Webster at [email protected] or call at 937-382-6661 ext. 693

The Fred Krisher Grow Food, Grow Hope Endowment Fund
In 2012, we lost a cherished member of our community garden family. Fred Krisher, a Wilmington College alumnus and trustee, had been with our program since the beginning, sharing his knowledge and love of gardening with our participants as a mentor. Fred not only enjoyed sharing his knowledge of gardening but also his love for the land and the personal satisfaction one receives when learning by doing. He imparted his passion for gardening and for his community to those around him. Always eager to contribute to the community garden, we are incredibly grateful he chose to spend his time with us. In memory of Fred, an endowment has been established, which will create enduring operational support for our program. For information on how you can make a contribution, please contact our Project Manager, Meghan Otto at (937) 382-6661 extension 321, or send an email to us at [email protected]


3rd Annual

Saturday August 18, 6pm-8pm Wilmington College Farm, Fife Ave. Wilmington, OH
5K Run/Walk Tour the Tomato Patch at the college farm Ask the Experts your gardening questions Taste-test and judge nearly 200 varieties of tomatoes. You can even enter your own home-grown tomatoes in one of the contests!

Brought to you by the Wilmington College Farm & Swindler & Sons Florists



Decorated herb boxes at Junior Master Gardener Day Camp

Grow Food Grow Hope got a lot of help from the Wilmington College Physical Plant when Summer Associates Katie Jameson and Mariana Vasquez-Crede teamed-up with campus carpenter Bob Metcalf to build 60 herb boxes for Junior Master Gardener’s camp. With Bob’s assistance, and Physical Plant’s resources, the two summer associates sanded down old bleachers from the Wilmington basketball court, and reused them to assemble boxes. Bob instructed the two on how to use power tools, such as nail guns and sanders, safely and efficiently, catalyzing the construction of the 60 boxes within only a few days. Grow Food Grow Hope is very grateful for the physical plant’s generosity and Bob’s dedication even when he was off the clock.

Thank You!

Marvin’s Organic Gardens
For making our gardens happy with a HUGE Donation of Compost

You Can Help Too...

Right now, the America the Beautiful Fund is giving away up to 6,000 free seed packets to qualifying gardening organizations and charities, all we have to do is cover the cost of shipping. So, $20 donation gets us 200 seed packets! Help GFGH plan for our long-term future of our gardens by making a donation today. 5

By Trenton Hython, Summer Associate
SPICE is more than the salt and pepper that you use to flavor your food in the kitchen. The acronym also stands for the testimonies of; Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, and Equality that Quakers have lived by for hundreds of years. Friends think of these testimonies as shared convictions and guides for living to help shape communities. But did you know that in the last decade, another “S” was added to the mix to make SPICES? That “S” is for Stewardship. The idea of stewardship as a way of protecting and caring for the Earth in an economically and socially sustainable ways is thousands of years old. It came back into prominence in the 1970s in response to the various environmental issues that we face in the modern world as a way to encourage people to be mindful about how their actions affect global sustainability. Stewardship combines practices from the other Quaker testimonies. To be good stewards in the world calls on us to examine and consider the ways in which our testimonies for simplicity, peace, integrity and equality interact to guide our relationships with nature as well as with other people. It means to walk lightly on the Earth. That can mean doing something good for the Earth like recycling and reusing whenever possible or promoting greener living. Simply put, Stewardship is about managing the way we use our resources to build better communities with nature in mind.


Learn + Grow Youth Programs Grow Healthy Families

By Melissa Serafin, Summer Associate
“Ew! Slugs?!”

foods, and a lot of them find out “I’ll take the whole bucket and eat they like foods they never thought them!” they would.” She laughs, “Though “They taste like green beans.” blindfolding them does make it a “They’re so good!” little easier.”

pre-schools and at the Friends of Hope community garden, emphasizes the effect the programs have on children’s diets, “How great is it that your kids will eat the food you give them? “When we first would ask them These are just some of the what their favorite foods are they Especially food you grew yourself. comments that blindfolded would say junk food,” agrees camp You made it, and your kids are eatcampers shout to one another as counselor Chris Disney. “Now ing it…For a kid to like tomatoes is they take turns eating “slugs” at so great. I hated them when I was when we ask them, they start the Nutrition station of the Junior saying fruits and vegetables.” a kid!” Master Gardener day camp. The The Junior Master Gardener camp Amanda Yerian, a gardener at the “slugs” are actually green beans. is part of Grow Food, Grow Hope’s Friends of Hope community Amethyst Rayford, the nutrition Learn + Grow program, which aims garden, has seen big changes in counselor, leads them in the to educate and excite youth about her daughter’s diet as well. nutrition “Fear Factor” activity. Yerian’s daughter, Christina, never nutrition, gardening, and the She emphasizes the importance liked vegetables, but now, “as long natural environment. of the activity, “The kids try foods as it comes from the garden, she Kayla Beltz, who manages the they wouldn’t normally. It gets will eat it.” Learn + Grow programs at local them excited about eating healthy

Children partake in youth programming at Garden Night at the Friends of Hope Community Garden

Christina brings a handful of freshly picked peas over to me and says, “See? Big ones!” Learn + Grow programs incorporate games, outdoor activities, crafts, stories, songs, as well as a strong educational focus. This approach works by cultivating curiosity and an interest in learning. Rachel King, who also manages Learn 2 Grow programs, says, “I just like being there in that moment where they finally get it. Their face just kind of lights up and you can tell that they know something that they didn’t know before but that they know now that they’ve gone to camp. They’re like ‘I get it!’ They’re so proud of themselves and want to tell everyone and they want to show it off.” “I’m glad I get to be a part of that. It’s great to be that motivating factor behind what gets them to learn.” Beltz says, “Gardening is fun for them once you make it fun. Once you engage them, it’s interesting stuff.” While many children attend outdoor summer camps, not many camps focus on engaging nature and the outdoors. The importance of this became clear as

I lead the campers in a morning yoga routine; when told to lie on the grass, I received dozens of blank stares. “On the ground? Like, on the grass?” one camper protested. “But we’ll get dirty,” said another. Learn + Grow programs, including JMG, strengthen the connection between the participants and the environment around them. At the garden station of the Junior Master Gardener camp, counselor Katie Jameson helps campers rip up newspaper to make seed bombs, a ball of wet newspaper encasing a seed. Many of the campers are incredulous that an actual plant will grow through the newspaper but are excited to try it out. “I know where I’m gonna throw mine!” Herb boxes, made from repurposed wood donated by the Wilmington College Physical Plant, are handed to each camper. They choose three herbs out of basil, cilantro, oregano, parsley, chives, and sage to plant, and they paint the boxes and make plant markers.


The camps and other youth programming also connect the community’s youth to Wilmington’s agricultural heritage. Though many still live among corn fields and farm land, they have not experienced the process of actually growing food. King says it’s a unique opportunity for many of the campers, “For a lot of the kids, it’s the first time they’ve ever experienced something like this. A lot have never planted a seed before. They get an overview in science class, but they don’t really get a hands-on experience where they get to explore. They get to explore and have fun. I think that’s something we offer that a lot of other places don’t.” Outside of the classroom, The Community Garden plots on the Wilmington College campus includes a separate “Kids Garden,” complete with stepping stones, colorful, hand-painted signs, and a variety of kid-friendly plants, such as watermelon, flowers, pumpkins, and the unusual U-shaped Armenian cucumbers. Learn + Grow hopes to impact an entire family through their children. King remarks, “It’s great to see kids go home and teach their parents. I think parent investment is a real motivator to keeping kids learning and interested. We send letters home at the end of the day explaining what we did at camp that day and how they can continue it at home.” Beltz emphasizes the importance of reaching parents through their children, “We send home letters with the kids at camp every day, to try to encourage that dialogue between parents and kids. Today with our lesson, we left them with tips for healthy eating with preschoolers. We hope kids will go home and tell their parents and we hope parents recognize that and take the initiative to do something about it.” As the lessons progress and the camps conclude, the signs of change are apparent. By the end of Junior Master Gardener camp, campers sit on grass and dig in the dirt without a second thought. Preschoolers shout out names of vegetables when asked about their favorite foods, and turnips were sent home with each of the children at the community garden. As a preschool lesson about weeds draws to a close, a mother picks her child up from the day care. She points to a dandelion and says to her child, “Look, what a pretty flower!” And the child replied, “No, mom, that’s a weed.”

“I just like being there in that moment where they finally get it.”


Dominique Parks, Summer Associate
When I first toured Wilmington College as a freshman, the campus atmosphere was overwhelming. It was like everyone knew my name before they met me. They knew what my major was and where I was from. After coming from a fairly large high school in Englewood, OH, this was strange to me. It was nothing like the college visits I made to larger campuses where new students always feel lost. I knew immediately that Wilmington College is different. One of the things that separated Wilmington or, Dub-C, as many students like to call it, from other colleges was the rich Quaker heritage that runs through the veins of the campus. The core values and mission statement are what help create this welcoming atmosphere. Community and the partnership with everyone

around you are vital to the campus culture. Dub-C encourages individuals to share and support the ideas of others. The sense of community on campus is empowering and helps those here take responsibility and create a culture that emphasizes constant improvement. This also leads into the next core value, which is Diversity. Wilmington College takes pride in accepting the different cultural backgrounds from individuals from surrounding communities. This is beside the point; it’s easy to spend all of your time explaining Wilmington Colleges rich heritage and how it creates this close nit community. What I am trying to emphasize is the importance of respect, working together, and helping others on this campus.

This brings me, what used to be my least favorite Core Value. Service and Civic Engagement. When I was first introduced to this concept it sounded dreadful. I didn’t want anything to do with the community. Most of this came from my fear of making small talk with people I did not know. It was not until the day that I decided to apply for a job with Grow Food, Grow Hope that this began to change. Initially I applied for the job because I would be able to stay in campus housing and would not have to go home for the summer. I came into Grow Food, Grow Hope with a strong sense of self. I knew what my strengths and weaknesses were but I always wanted to be a part of something larger than myself. I had no idea I would find that at Wilmington College. On the very first day of work, I realized Grow Food, Grow Hope was bigger than I expected. Immediately, me and the other AmeriCorps Summer Associates became a close knit group of friends who truly enjoyed working together and were not afraid to ask one another for help. This isn’t an uncommon thing to find on the Wilmington College campus. However, when you put a group of people together, who have never met previously and ask them to work, it’s a slightly peculiar and exciting spectacle to witness. All in all, my first year with Grow Food Grow Hope, was a complete learning experience. I learned how to garden, and being from the suburbs of Dayton, it was a completely new experience. Midway through the summer, I no longer cared about getting paid or the fact that I had my own apartment, it was the giving back to the community and helping families that made all the sweating and complaining about heat worth it. I grew as a student, a man, and a human being after my first experience with GFGH. One of the more fascinating and important things I learned about myself was my ability to work well with others. I can honestly say that I was not a complete team player before this experience. I was the individual who would either; sit back and let someone else take charge or feel obligated to do everything myself. A large factor in that change was knowing that if I look over my shoulder,

someone else was either there willing to help or complaining just as much as I was at that particular moment. I quickly learned that as long as everyone carries their own weight and communicates, things are accomplished quicker, results are better and the bond between everyone is strengthened. It was not until the two following semesters that I began to realize even more how important my involvement with Grow Food, Grow Hope was for the community. Someone once told me, that the fact that I have the opportunity to be in college is a blessing. The fact that I’m able to better my self is a blessing. The fact that I am blessed with these things that will, in the future, benefit me only makes it fair that I would be willing to help someone else experience something similar. “With great power comes great responsibility.” This is probably one of the greatest and most memorable quotes from Spider-man. No one quite understands what it really means until destiny puts one in a situation and they are given. If you were in a position in your life to help someone else, wouldn’t you want to? Ultimately, that’s what the quote from Spider-man is telling us. If you are in a position to help someone who may or may not be less fortunate than you, you should. After gaining all this knowledge and growing I did after my first term with Grow Food, Grow Hope, I, once again, applied to be a Summer Associate. This time it was for completely different reasons I did not care about the less than minimum wage pay, I did not care that I had my own apartment. I wanted to do everything I could to help the community I had been living in for the past three years. I wanted to sweat and complain knowing that it was all for a reason. At the end of the day a family is going to be smiling because I gave a few hours out of my day to help them. What made this summer completely different from my first experience was the leadership role I that I would be put into. Many of the new associates had never gardened before, thus, this being my second year with Grow Food, Grow Hope it only made

sense that I would be there to, not only answer questions they might have, but to be willing to work right by their side as we solved what ever problem they had. The best advice I had to offer anyone was to prepare to sweat and work hard and to complain. However, know that when you look over your shoulder there is someone working just as hard as you are and complaining just as much. So, you aren’t alone. And when you go home after that hard days work, know that it was not in vain. Helping others and giving back to the community is not as bad as most people think it is. It’s not going around and picking up trash like I used to think and how some people still may think. You get so much more out of the experience than you expected. You develop and grow as a person. You become more aware of your surroundings and the people around you. Most importantly you are helping the people who may not be lucky enough to help themselves. Grow Food, Grow Hope gave me the opportunity to do my duty as a human being and, as a Wilmington College student, to give back. When a person has the means to do great things for others. It’s their responsibility to do so. I would not trade this experience for the world. I would not trade those smiles I see everyday on the families that I have helped with Grow Food, Grow Hope. That’s what life is all about right?

2012 Grow Food, Grow Hope Summer Associates


Salsa has been a staple food in the Americas for thousands of years. The Aztecs of Central Mexico combined tomatoes with their favorite peppers, corn, chilies, squashes and spices to make their distinct sauces, while the Mayans added avocados to make Guacamole. Even the Incas and other South American cultures had their own version of salsa.

The word “salsa” in Spanish simply means, “Sauce,” and there are hundreds of different types of salsas in Latin American cuisine. The kind that we most often see in the in the United States is Pico de Gallo or Salsa Cruda. “Pico de Gallo” literally means “The Rooster’s Beak.” The strange name comes from the way that the eater holds their hand by pinching the thumb and forefinger together in the shape of a bird’s beak when eating the salsa.

Pico de Gallo
1 1/2 cups seeded, diced tomatoes 1/4 cup diced red onion 1 tablespoon diced jalapenos 1 tablespoon minced garlic Juice of 2 limes 2 tablespoons of cilantro Salt and pepper

Dice the tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and garlic and combine in a large bowl Add Lime Juice and Cilantro Mix and add salt and pepper to taste Serve Immediately

Did you Know?

Every year since 1991 there has been more salsa consumed in the United States than ketchup.


Grow Food, Grow Hope is a Wilmington College sponsored initiative dedicated to making fresh and nutritious foods more accessible to the neediest members of our community. We believe that by growing a little food, we can sow a lot of hope.

937-382-661 ext. 321

[email protected]

Grow Food, Grow Hope Garden Initiative 1145 Pyle Center 1870 Quaker Way Wilmington, OH 45177

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